Guyana Punch Line

Direkt Aktion

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Guyana Punch Line's Jonestown-derived name is about a quarter-century past the time when it would have been provocative and shocking; in 2003, it sounds not only quaint but almost nostalgic. Much could be said of the lyrical (pardon, lyrikal) content of the South Carolina quartet's third album. Only the fact that singer/lyricist Chris Bickel obviously has a functioning sense of humor and isn't taking things all that seriously saves songs like the otherwise overbearing "A Null Transmission" and "Not Right." Elsewhere, the dry wit of "Obligatory Naive Anti-Sellout Song" and the rock-star japery of "Reach Down Between My Legs and Ease the Feedback" at least suggest that Bickel and company know what the joke is. Unfortunately, given that these songs are basically indistinguishable from the sort of jagged, amelodic blurts that very similar (albeit musically and lyrically superior) bands like Crass, Conflict, the Ex, and Rudimentary Peni were doing two full decades before Guyana Punch Line, one could argue that the joke's on them.

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